This is a big day for the XenServer product as version 6.2 is now available, it is now not only a product supported by Citrix but also becomes a fully open source project that invites participation from the user community. Citrix will still provide a XenServer product which includes support for those customers who chose to purchase a support license.
Why Open Source Xen
Much of XenServer already was open source, leveraging packages from the Xen Project, Linux kernel and the XAPI Project. We believe that open source plays a strategic role in the future of virtualization and cloud technology and that only open source offers the opportunities for collaborative, open innovation and the economies of scale that these markets demand. By open sourcing XenServer, customers, partners and developers gain full public visibility into the ongoing development and future of XenServer and can directly engage with us to contribute new XenServer functionality, build deeper integrations and steer the architectural direction of the platform. In summary, an open source strategy was chosen because:
Best of Both Worlds Free Software, Commercial Support Available
With the change to open source, XenServer is now available for free to everyone on the new XenServer.org community. Citrix will provide support for a distribution of XenServer. This is very similar to leading open source enterprise products like Red Hat Enterprise Linux verses say CentOS Linux. By purchasing Citrix XenServer support licenses you get:
- Citrix Premier 24x7 worldwide support offering unlimited-incident worldwide technical support in nine languages across the globe.
- Commercially packaged and certified product that goes through rigorous testing and provides certified product lifecycles and guaranteed support statements.
- Simplified patching and updating via XenCenter management console that enables automated GUI driven patch application and upgrades. In contrast, free XenServer requires patches and updates to be installed from the command line, but both include XenCenter for overall server management.
- Indemnification and license protection that protects customers from any liabilities stemming from the open source code.
- Citrix knowledgebase & My Account Portal for access to the expanded inventory of technical articles and a simple-to-use portal for product downloads and license management.
What to Expect from XenServer.org
So this is just the beginning of XenServer.org. We'll begin by releasing the source code and providing binaries for users to download and install. For now we'll provide mailing lists and still use the existing forums provided by Citrix. Over time we'll transition them to this site. Additionally, we'll add all the things that you would expect from an open source project including a way to track bugs, request features and interact with the developers to collaborate on the code. We also include a number of ways to ask questions and get support via the mailing lists, forums and our Q&A system.